Ringette BC is proud to be part of this international game that started over 50 years ago in Ontario, Canada. The history and development of the game is uniquely Canadian and a story worth knowing.
Ringette is a Canadian game that was first introduced in 1963 in North Bay, Ontario. Developed originally for girls, ringette is a fast-paced team sport on ice in which players use a straight stick to pass, carry, and shoot a rubber ring to score goals. For ten years, play centered in Ontario and Quebec, however the sport quickly spread accross Canada and is now played in all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories.
In fact, the sport has become one of Canada’s favorite activities for females, with over 50,000 participants, including players, coaches, officals and volunteers, across Canada – a remarkable growth rate for such a young sport. More than 7,000 certified ringette coaches are registered in the National Coaching Certification Program, and 1,724 registered referees trained under Ringette Canada’s National Officiating Program. In addition, there are thousands of volunteers who administer clubs, leagues, and tournaments across Canada.
There are various skill levels of play across the nation; beginning with U9 (a learn to skate program) to 30+, and then formal teams in categories of C, B, A, AA, and in some cases even Regional AAA Teams. Many communities offer all four levels, and in keeping with the philosphy of a place for every skill level, some leagues break down the first skill level into three levels of Recreational, C1 and C2 and B level into two, B1 and B2. This makes for place for every player of every age and skill level. Other communities that are smaller without the benefits of neighbouring communities to play in a league with will only have some of these breakdowns.
Across the country many tournaments are held throughout the season, with Regional and/or League Championships being the highlight for the B and C teams, while the Provincials are the finale for the A and AA teams. Some Provinces have Provincial Championships even at the B level. Each year Provinces select Teams at the U16 and U19 AA divisions to play in the Canadian Championships.
There are World Championships in our sport, with Canada picking a National Team to represent us at those Championships every three years. Across Canada, Ringette is played by all the provinces and the North West Territories. The growth has continued internationally with the formation of associations in the U.S.A., Finland, Sweden, Russia, and France. In addition, Ringette Canada has been instrumental in demonstrating the game in the Netherlands, Switzerland, West Germany, along with New Zealand, Australia and Japan.